Ultimate Skill Refresh Guide for 50+ Year Old Workers

Ultimate Skill Refresh Guide for 50+ Year-Old Workers

Last year in Bangkok, I met a very happy couple. She was 59, and he was turning 60 in few days. Noone I met before had ever poured on me such a bubbling fountain of liveliness as they did. Ultimate Skill Refresh Guide for 50+ Year Old Workers

What made them so joyful? Maybe the fact that it was the second marriage for her, and fourth marriage for him. Maybe, their collection of Harley Davidsons. Or maybe, the fact that they were solidly employed, well paid, and highly valued specialists. Ultimate Skill Refresh Guide for 50+ Year Old Workers

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Getting to your senior years, you can become a valuable human asset for any business. Your expertise can aid people. Furthermore, proper employment and solid education are proven to be the secrets for feeling confident and content in older age.

If you’re curious about your options for establishing yourself as an invaluable expert in any age, this article is here to help you.  Ultimate Skill Refresh Guide for 50+ Year-Old Workers

First, we’ll clarify why you should hone your skills. Second, find out how you can tweak your expertise to align with modern jobs market requirements. And finally, go into details about how you can refresh your education to become unique and competitive.

Overcome fear of change

Anxiety about shifting your gears might be keeping you behind. Being nicely tucked into your 9-to-5 with regular paychecks gives you the feeling of comfort, coziness, and predictability. Why would you want to change anything? There are at least three reasons.

First, because in the modern world you need to evolve to keep that 9-to-5. Half of the workers over 50 years of age believe they would need to obtain additional education to find another job with a similar salary if they lost their current position to AI, according to Gallup research.

Second, because learning lets you achieve your full potential. Recall all the paths you have looked into. Now you have more spare time on your hand to master the photography, writing or entrepreneurship the way you always wanted to.

Third, because it improves quality of your life. Manfred Diehl, Ph.D., a developmental psychologist who studies processes of aging, names engaging in mentally challenging activities and learning new things the keys to positive aging. Skills training can also make you more resilient to dementia, according to the American Psychological Association.

The problem is not being older

Most often the issue is being out of date with your skills. Good news – this is solvable. With a willingness to evolve, you have lots of options available.

Your huge benefit is that you already have a set of qualifications that took you through decades of career. Now brush up your capabilities a bit to make them relevant to the digital era.

Tech-savviness is first and foremost. While 80% of Americans in age between 65 and 69 used the internet in 2016 (Statista), the vast majority of them still needs someone to help walk them through the process of acknowledging with new devices or using the social networks, according to Pew Research study from 2014. Being comfortable with the web is a must today. Tap in it – the sooner the better.

Where to find the learning opportunities and how to get most out of them

Before you get to learning, assess your skills. Leveraging on your specialization is always a good idea, as you only have to upgrade, not start from scratch.

If you come from a writing-related profession (think journalism and PR) then all you need is to get a grasp of digital tools to get into essay assistance, resume consultancy, or business writing spheres. Bookkeeping is a perfect background for a virtual financial assistant. Engineers can tap into math teaching or technical writing. Same goes for every skill set.

Evaluate the degrees and certifications you have and figure out what you’re lacking. If you can do with a web course or certificate program, you don’t need to overspend on community college.

Now when you know your needs, look for a solution that suits them best.

Self-education via online courses

Find tons of courses for every subject on following sites. Hundreds of them come free of charge. However, to get a valid certificate, you’ll need to enroll a paid course.

Community colleges

Keep in mind that there’s no age limit for getting the subsidized loan, and you can also seek for it as a part-time student. Stafford loan is a low-interest loan from the government for educational purposes. Research scholarships and grants offered by colleges, non-governmental groups, and foundations. Check this site for a full list. Ultimate Skill Refresh Guide for 50+ Year Old Workers

Certificate programs & Intensive learning seminars

These are usually more affordable and focused on the specific qualifications. Consider them if you have limited resources and need to add to your skill set fast. Some of them, like Osher Centers and the Oasis Institute, are widely available across states.

Programs for older workers, Part-times, and Internships

One by one, well-respected corporations such as Morgan Stanley, IBM, Deloitte, and Ford launch the “returnship” programs to attract and keep older workers. Benefits here go both ways, Forbes states. While interns get a chance to re-enter job market from a different angle and update their skills, the companies get diligent workers who act professionally and have a deep understanding of business processes.

Another way is part-time employment. It’s a good move when you want to test-drive your dream business before the career change.

Volunteering

Volunteering for nonprofits gives you a sense of fulfillment, yes, but also a boost in career skills and networking. NGOs are businesses, after all. Join them to learn fundraising, grant writing, running events and social media management.

Employer-provided training

Training is a critical component of any plan to retain older workers for the companies, strongly encouraged by the government. Along with the internal trainings, many employers offer tax-free tuition help programs. Make sure to let your employer know about your desire to learn, and be specific about subjects.

Simple steps to stay a sharp professional:

  • Stay up to date with technological trends and demonstrate it when you network
  • Network a lot!
  • Participate in the industry events in your area
  • Write articles to share your knowledge
  • Prioritize your development when choosing work projects

Takeaway

To bolster your value in the job market and compete with up-and-comers, you can find hundreds of educational opportunities both online and offline. Keep your skills up-to-date and network – these are the two fail-proof strategies for you to remain marketable and flexible.

By Samantha Engman

After a decade of successful career in marketing, Samantha Engman switched to content creation for aspiring businesses and deserving causes. Don’t miss out her articles at Bid4papers and Twitter for useful tips on building your success online.   

Ultimate Skill Refresh Guide for 50+ Year Old Workers

Ultimate Skill Refresh Guide for 50+ Year Old Workers Ultimate Skill Refresh Guide for 50+ Year Old Workers Ultimate Skill Refresh Guide for 50+ Year Old Workers Ultimate Skill Refresh Guide for 50+ Year Old Workers Ultimate Skill Refresh Guide for 50+ Year Old Workers Ultimate Skill Refresh Guide for 50+ Year Old Workers

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Kimberly Johnson

As a Senior.com Director of Marketing, Kimberly Johnson is passionate about providing Seniors with the resources and products to live well.  Kimberly is a seasoned caregiver to her family and breast cancer survivor.  Her father battled ALS, Lou Gehrig’s disease, for 13 months before passing.  Today Kimberly lives in Southern California near her 102 year old grandmother, widowed mother, a mentally disabled sister and second sister who is also a breast cancer survivor.  She is happily married to her husband of 22 years and they have 3 children.

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Kimberly Johnson
Advocate for Seniors

As a Senior.com Director of Marketing, Kimberly Johnson is passionate about providing Seniors with the resources and products to live well.  Kimberly is a seasoned caregiver to her family and breast cancer survivor.  Her father battled ALS, Lou Gehrig's disease, for 13 months before passing.  Today Kimberly lives in Southern California near her 102 year old grandmother, widowed mother, a mentally disabled sister and second sister who is also a breast cancer survivor.  She is happily married to her husband of 22 years and they have 3 children.

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